Into the Wild (2007)

directed by Sean Penn
based on a novel by John Krakauer
with: Emile Hirsch

Christopher McCandless decides to abandon what apparently seems to be 'the ideal life' to get lost in solitude in Alaska. Escaping from society and from the limitations that it enforces he creates a new way of life and philosophy that only a true adventurer and idealist could bare. It is about freedom of the soul, freedom from the chains of social repression, hypocrisy, fear and shame, to enjoy full contemplation of the natural surroundings.

Into the Wild is one of those life stories that may have the power to greatly influence people, positively or negatively, optimistically or pessimistically. It is meant to be a poetic ode with the purpose of filling people's hearts with a dense liquid mix of emotions and rebelliousness. The problem with the film is that its power is accidental. It does not truly inspire by itself. The viewer idealizes the Alaskan beautiful imagery and the concepts of the story and adapts them to their personal life, with a slight fake feeling of empathy and courageousness. McCandless psyche is not explored in extent, so the movie takes advantage of our innocence and tries to surprise us. I feel that Sean Penn could have created a simpler version, more realistic. He tries to match the artful prose of Krakauer with imagery that sometimes seems out of place and film techniques that confuse instead of making it more enjoyable. At times, I loved Hirsch's acting very much, but sometimes it felt weak. This is Sean Penn's debut and it is pleasant, it may have been a little bit too ambitious (and lenghty), but he had a good team (cinematographer Erik Gautier and Eddie Vedder's effective songwriting) that helped him achieve the success that the movie was.

Rating: 6.25/10

1 comment:

LAMA said...

i like that you detailed in your critique that this film has the power to influence people positively or negatively..

in my personal opinion I think this film reflects a message that lets people concentrate their attention mostly on the internal part of the human being (on emotions, feelings, inner life and any kind of religion) rather than on material things (money, possessions, frivolous things).

i can either hate this movie or love it it just depends on the mood i am when i see it.